Tag Archives: phone interview

The critical email most job seekers fail to send

A successful email

A very short email was sent out by a candidate after a brief phone screening for a top level job.  I got a copy.  It helped set that candidate apart from all the others in a quiet way.  The next day that email was replied to with an invitation for an in-person interview.   That’s a successful email.  That email said, “Thank you for the chance to talk with you about your company and that opening.”

I admit it.  The email did NOT get him the interview.  His phone presence, background, cheerfulness and “can do” attitude got him the reply.  Still, the “thank you” email helped.

100 applicants for a job is not unusual.  Phone interviews with 10 solid candidates is common.  Often the choice between the top 3 candidates is only based on chemistry, the feelings of the moment.  So what can you do?

  1. Send a thank you by email after every interview.
  2. Also send a paper thank you.
  3. Dwell on the positive.
  4. Never complain about a previous job, boss or coworker.
  5. Tell interviewers what you like about the job.
  6. Ask for the next interview or for the job.

In the interview be the type of person you most like working with.  After the interview, be thankful.  That’s an unbeatable combination.


There’s no secret about success.  Did you ever know a successful man who didn’t tell you about it? (Hubbard)


Later:                          The guy who invented running died

I make the milk every morning

Propagating blueberries guerilla style

Great ideas are a dime a dozen

The biggest lie about phone interviews and what to do about it

They don’t really call them phone interviews in HR, they call them phone screens.

Don’t be fooled that you are ever being called on the phone for a job interview.  The only reason you are ever “interviewed” on the phone is because they hope to keep from having to meet you.  The idea is to keep from wasting their time….and yours. The words “phone interview” constitute a lie.

So, how do you act differently in a phone screening?

First, don’t give them any reason to exclude you.

Don’t talk about WIFM (What’s In It For Me). Do not ask them about pay, benefits, time off, or vacation.  You can ask that when they make you an offer.

Don’t tell them about your horrible job, terrible coworkers, or your boss who tortures children for recreation. Forget your job wound.  Anything negative you say will hurt you 10 times worse in a phone screen.

Second, give them something enticing.

Make sure that they have to invite you in to see you in person.  What have you actually done better than the average person?  No, I am not asking what your responsibilities were.  What did you do very well?  You were a programmer….big deal.  There are 50 of them applying for the job.  You are a salesman…whoopee.  20 other salespeople want the job, and half are better looking than you.  So, how did you excel?  What were you an expert at?  What does that company need that you do very well? Can you prove it?

Sit down for half an hour in a quiet place with a list of everything you know about the job you will phone interview for.  Make a list of the things you have done better than other people.  Prove you can do this job well.

There really are only two things you have to do in a phone interview phone screen: keep from being excluded, and entice them to invite you in for a face-to-face meeting.


Coming up

Back to job hunting

The #1 and #2 way to ruin a phone interview

Phone interviews are done to screen you out. It is easier to end a phone interview with you after 5 minutes than to kick you out of their office after 5 minutes.

Phone interviews only allow a first impression.  That is all they want.


They will see you in a phone interview

They will see a height, weight, hair color, skin tone and posture. What they will see is a totally fictitious mental picture of you.  They will see you interested or bored, happy or burned out, and translate that into a mental picture similar to someone they know.  Your phone interview will be your first impression.  It may be your only impression.

The good news is, if they like you, they will see a star in their minds.  The bad news is, if you are not sharp, they’ll see you as a skid row derelict.

The way to ruin a phone interview is to: 1. Relax.  2. Don’t prepare.

Next time we’ll talk about preparing.

Something to do today

Next time you talk to a stranger on the phone, decide what they look like: hair, height, skin, and clothes.  Were they smiling, attentive, and interested, or bored and unhappy?  Are they liars or scrupulously honest.  Figure out why those pictures come into your mind.


Coming up

How to prepare for a phone interview

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A girl phoned me the other day and said “Come on over, there’s nobody home.” I went over.  Nobody was home.  (Rodney Dangerfield)

How to ACE the phone interview – replay

I have uploaded my latest seminar on How to ACE the phone interview.  It is free and about 40 minutes long.  You can find it by clicking here.

How to ACE the phone interview

You only did a good job on the phone interview, if you got an in-person interview.

I am giving a free webinar on how to double your chances of getting past that phone call and into their office.

Sign up here.